who used artificial insemination services at a Utah fertility clinic have found
out that their daughter, Ashley, is in fact the genetic daughter of a former clinic
worker. The couple, known as Paula and Jeff, believed that Jeff's sperm had
been used in the treatment and had not requested for donor sperm to be used at
Lippert, Ashley's biological father, had worked at Reproductive Medical
Technologies fertility clinic between 1986 and 1995, coinciding with Ashley's
conception in 1991. The family discovered this after contacting Cheryl, Lippert's
for leads via genetic genealogy testing companies Family Tree DNA and
AncestryDNA, the family found that Ashley had a second cousin unrelated to
Paula. They suspected that this relative was a possible link to Ashley's
relative, Cheryl, informed Paula and Jeff that Lippert had been both a worker
and donor at the fertility clinic that they had used. Paula recognised Lippert
as a staff member with whom she and Jeff had come into contact during their
visits to the clinic.
mother agreed to provide DNA for a test as her son died in 1997. The test indicated
that Thomas Lippert was most likely Ashley's biological father.
informed them of Lippert's past, which included a criminal conviction for
kidnapping. Lippert had served two years in prison for holding a fellow college
student for three weeks and conducting 'love experiments' involving
electroshock therapy on her.
Lippert's criminal activity led Paula and Jeff to become concerned about the
possibility of him having fathered other patients' children without their
knowledge. With the help of CeCe Moore, a genealogist who broke the story on
her blog, the family have set up a website for other families who believe that
they may be related to Lippert.
University of Utah, linked to the now defunct fertility clinic where Lippert
worked, has also begun investigating the case. The University issued a
statement, which includes an offer to pay for genetic testing for those who
believe they may be in a similar situation to Paula and Jeff.
'There are no remaining records from Reproductive
Medical Technologies to prove the claim and the man in question has been
deceased since 1997', the statement reads. 'Consequently, it is unknown how
this incident might have happened. In addition, there is no evidence to
indicate this situation extends beyond the case in question'.
But speaking to The
Salt Lake Tribune, Lippert's widow, Jean, suggested that such evidence may yet
come to light.
'I think, because Tom
didn't have any kids, he wanted to have a lot of kids out there', she said. He 'claimed
to be a frequent sperm donor', the newspaper says.
'Maybe he switched
some samples so he could have more of his kids in the world', Jean Lippert